What News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists Do
About this section
Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts.
News analysts, reporters, and journalists keep the public updated about current events and noteworthy information. They report international, national, and local news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.
News analysts, reporters, and journalists typically do the following:
- Research topics that an editor or news director has assigned to them
- Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories or articles
- Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article
- Analyze and interpret information to increase audience understanding of the news
- Write stories or articles for newspapers, magazines, or websites and create scripts to be read on television or radio
- Review stories or articles for accuracy, style, and grammar
- Update stories or articles as new information becomes available
- Investigate new story or article ideas and pitch ideas to editors
News analysts, reporters, and journalists often work for a particular type of media organization, such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or website.
Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers often edit interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story or report, and they write and record voiceovers to provide the audience with supplementary facts or context. They may create multiple versions of the same story or report for different broadcasts or media platforms.
News analysts, reporters, and journalists for print media conduct interviews and write stories or articles to be used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have print and online versions, these workers’ content typically appears in both versions. As a result, they must stay up to date with developments related to a content item and update the online version with current information, if necessary.
Outlets are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, such as a video content on the website of a daily newspaper. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories or articles. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their content.
News analysts, reporters, and journalists may need to maintain a social media presence. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage with their audiences.
Some workers, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Those who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may be generalists and cover a wide range of subjects.
Some news analysts, reporters, and journalists are self-employed and accept freelance assignments from news organizations. Because freelancers are paid for individual stories or articles, they may work with many organizations and spend some of their time marketing their content and looking for their next assignment. Self-employed news analysts, reporters, and journalists also may publish news and videos on their own platforms.
The following are examples of types of news analysts, reporters, and journalists:
Columnists write articles offering an opinion or perspective about a particular subject. They submit a piece to a publication, often on a schedule, such as once per week. Their work may be published in a newspaper, magazine, or other outlet or self-published on the columnist’s website.
Correspondents report the news to a radio or television network from a remote location. Those who cover international events, called foreign correspondents, often live in another country and report about a specific region of the world.
News anchors lead television or radio shows that describe current events. Others are news commentators who analyze and interpret reports and offer opinions. They may come from fields outside of journalism and have expertise in a particular subject, such as finance, and are hired on a contract basis to provide their opinion on that subject.
These workers also may collaborate with editors, photographers, videographers, and other reporters and journalists when working on an article or story.
For information about workers with a background in this field who teach journalism or communications at colleges and universities, see the profile on postsecondary teachers.